Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis and Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation
Afib Symptoms? How It's Diagnosed
Do you have an atrial fibrillation, or atrial flutter? There are several ways to diagnose atrial fibrillation (afib).
Your doctor may want to do an electrocardiogram (ECG) if an irregular heartbeat is discovered during an exam, or if you have been experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting spells, fatigue or palpitations.
An ECG is a recording of your heart’s electrical signals. In this painless procedure, pads are applied to your chest and abdomen and attached by wires to a machine where your heart rhythm can be recorded.
If you are having short periods of afib, your doctor might ask you to wear a special monitor for 24 hours (a Holter monitor) or a month (an event monitor) to catch an episode of irregular heartbeat and help your doctor determine whether it is afib.
Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation
Depending on your age, the seriousness of your condition and the cause of your afib, there are several treatment options available.
The first thing your doctor should address is the need to prevent blood clots with anticoagulation or antiplatelet medication.
As you receive treatment to prevent blood clots, your doctor will choose one of two general strategies for afib treatment: a rate-control strategy or a rhythm-control strategy, which may include atrial fibrillation ablation or cardioversion.